Who inspired you as a young athlete and why?
It all started on a stone table close to my house when I was 7 years old. From the first moment is was fun for me.
Who was your favourite coach and why?
I had a lot of good Coaches. A Chinese coach, and German coaches, Helmut Hampl, Matthias Sauer and Matthias Lamdfried.
Can you share some advice for coaches looking to improve?
I watch lot of Videos. How to serve, how to return, and what to do in open play, so I am always looking at the best ways to play the game.
Have you a favourite player that you coached?
I have many players in my table tennis school from all around the World. My best Player is Patrick Baum.
What was your happiest moment as a player and why?
I have had lot of happy moments in my table tennis life. I won the US open twice which was a great feeling. And to reach the last 16 of the World Championships was also very special.
You are good friends with the legendary Timo Boll, can you tell us what sets him apart from the rest?
Timo is a great person and is nice to all his fans. He also has a great personality and is always in a good mood. He has a strong arm and fast eyes and he sees and feels where the next ball coming. He also hits the ball so cleanly and is aways stable and in balance.
Image from Thomas Instagram
What are 2 of your core values you demand from your players?
For me, it is important that the player is very motivated and always looking for ways to improve, this is crucial. It is also vital that they are professional and fighting in all the matches, and of course, to never give up.
Finally, if you could choose one player to coach, who would it be and why?
Of course Timo Boll. He always sees the spaces when playing an opponent.